Book review: Miss You by Kate Eberlen

Saturday, August 27, 2016 Permalink

Kate Eberlen’s Miss You has been compared to the very popular One Day by David Nicholls. I know that book’s been made into a movie and there’s another similar movie circling around my brain that I just can’t put my finger on…. And it’s not the 1978 movie, Same Time Next Year... which I recall being popular when I worked on the VHS / Beta video counter at a local electronics store sometime in the early-mid 1980s.

Anyhoo.. it is reminiscent of such movies though even more frustrating for the romantics out there because our erstwhile lovers don’t even really meet…. in the beginning.

Book review: Miss You by Kate EberlenMiss You
by Kate Eberlen
Published by Pan Macmillan
on August 11th 2016
Genres: Romance
ISBN: 1509819932, 9781509819942
Pages: 464

Tess and Gus are meant to be. They just haven't met properly yet. And perhaps they never will . . .

Today is the first day of the rest of your life is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can't get it out of her head, even though she's in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university.

Her life is about to change forever - but not in the way she expects.

Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence. Their lives have already changed suddenly and dramatically. Gus tries to be a dutiful son, but longs to escape and discover what sort of person he is going to be.

For one day, the paths of an eighteen-year-old girl and boy criss-cross before they each return to England.

Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and fate, there's no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly . . . or is there?

Regular readers of my reviews will be shocked that I read this book… which probably can be classified as ‘romance’. Indeed, it reminded me of my Maeve Binchy-loving days as it was a little saga-like and not necessarily in a bad way.

Tess and Gus meet but barely when they’re 18 and just out of school. It’s not particularly memorable but both seem to sense something in the other… a connection of sorts – recognising a kindred spirit perhaps.

Tess’s dreams of University are thwarted but she attempts to make the best of her situation; (though) secretly a little disappointed in what her life has become.

Gus heads off to University to dutifully study medicine – following in the footsteps of his (recently deceased) big brother, despite other passions.

Their lives move on, though because we’re following both we’re privy to the near-misses and could-have-beens. They both end up in relationships… good and bad, and the years pass. Before they inevitably meet. (Sorry if that’s spoiler-like but I figure the book wouldn’t exist if they’d never met).

In reality however, the eventual ‘meeting’ is probably not as clichéd, whimsical or momentous as I’d dreaded expected. The book’s more about them as individuals, their lives and their growth than their potential relationship. I really didn’t find myself wallowing in that ‘what ifs?’.

Their lives do not turn out as expected, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. And we’re left wondering if they are (in fact) as they were meant to be – ie. we might come out the other end stronger or as better people, having survived the unexpected crap.

The reason I mention Maeve earlier is not just to show off the fact I can spell her name, but because there’s a strong family theme running through the novel. Functional and dysfunctional families and friendships feature strongly.

This was a long book compared to most I read but the pace was steady, our two lead characters eminently likeable, and the plot captivating – so a very enjoyable read from this debut author!

Miss You by Kate Eberlen was published in Australia by Pan Macmillan and is now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 

Are you a lover of the saga? 


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